Lucid Dreams: What it is, Techniques to Try, Benefits, and Cautions

In pop culture and social media, recently the words ‘ lucid dream’ has become very common. There is also a song by rapper Juice Wrld called ‘lucid dreams’ that has over a billion Spotify streams. So the very first question that comes to mind is; What exactly is a lucid dream?’

Well, we are here to tell you what exactly it means and everything you need to know about lucid dreams. 

Many people confuse lucid dreams with sleep paralysis, but it is just a misconception. A lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer realizes that they are dreaming. In lucid dreams, the person gains control over the dream and to some extent is able to control their actions and environment within the dream. It is estimated that around 55 per cent of people have had at least one lucid dream in their lifetime. 

How to Induce Lucid Dreams? For the curious dreamers out there!

In psychology lucid dreams are a much-researched topic and there are many pros and cons to this phenomenon. Now that you know what lucid dreams are, your mind automatically goes to; ‘how to have lucid dreams?’ Don’t worry! We have got that covered for you as well. There are different ways in which you can try an induce lucid dreams.

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Here are three different ways in which you can induce lucid dreams:

  1. Reality Checking
  2. Breaking your sleep
  3. Keeping a Dream Diary

1. Reality Checking – Training your brain to check if you are dreaming

Reality checking is a very easy to understand method of inducing lucid dreams when you sleep. The theory is that , if in real life you keep checking your surrounding over and over, to see if they are real or not, your brain gradually gets accustomed to doing that. Eventually, your brain will do the reality checking in your dreams increasing the chance to lucid dream. 

The most effective way to do this will be to repeat a ‘reality check’ activity (like looking at your self in the mirror to see if you look normal, pushing through solid items to see if you can feel them, etc), every two to three hours to train your brain. 

2. Breaking your sleep – Also known as the WBTB (Wake, back to bed) for obvious reasons

Another easy method to increase the chances to induce lucid dreams is breaking your sleep i.e, waking up and going back to bed. When you sleep at night , set an alarm after 5 hours. When you wake up, do an activity that requires your full attention for 30 minutes. Then go back to sleep again. This way you will be more likely to lucid dream.

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3. Keeping a Dream Diary – Tracking your dreams to differentiate between real life and dreams better 

This habit will not just increase the chance of lucid dreams but also is a great practice for memory. Every morning after you wake up, immediately try to recall your dream and write it down in your diary. Keep reading your journal over and over and try to pick out the ‘dreamsigns’ ( signs that are abnormal, like having superpowers), this way you’ll we able to differentiate when you are dreaming . The more you do this the more likely it is to lucid dream. 

Now that we have seen some method of inducing Lucid dreams, lets us look at the pros and cons of lucid dreaming.

Benefits and Risks of Lucid Dreaming?

Pros

If you are able to understand that you are dreaming, then you can drastically decrease nightmares. Research shows that imagining moving mentally, helps in actual physical movement, so that way lucid dreams can prove to be helpful. Lucid dreams also alleviate anxiety in a way that they allow the person to mentally stand up to their fears.

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Cons

Lucid dreams commonly occur with sleep paralysis. It can be a very horrifying experience, even though it lasts only for a short period of time. Lucid dreaming also causes sleep problems as your brain is active during them and a few of the induction methods rely on lack of sleep. Which in turn can lead to a bad mood through out the day.

It is easy to understand why Lucid dreams have become such a trending topic. It is a very interesting phenomenon and the pop culture references just add to the craze. Most of you might have already experienced a lucid dream, with or without your knowledge. Maybe after reading this post you want to try it out yourself with the above-mentioned induction methods. If you do try them out, let us know if it works! But please remember to not do anything extreme that can ruin your sleep schedule. 

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